Pet World in Yonkers shut down after SPCA investigation revealed 'heartbreaking' conditions

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Pet World in Yonkers shut down after SPCA investigation
The SPCA Westchester announced the shutdown of a pet store in Yonkers.

YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- The SPCA Westchester announced the shutdown of a pet store in Yonkers.

Pet World on South Broadway was shut down and their license revoked after an investigation by SPCA Westchester Humane Law Enforcement Unit officers, Yonkers Police, Yonkers Building Dept. and the Westchester Health Department.

A police officer was making a call Friday checking a security alarm in a building next door when he walked into the basement and saw the hundreds of birds, ducks, chickens, roosters, and pigeons along with rabbits all contained in the basement.

"It was cramped, it was filthy -- keeping birds in a basement, now how they were supposed to be kept," said SPCA Director Ernest Ungaro.

Photos released by the SPCA showed "heartbreaking" living conditions for the animals, the organization said.

"It was a team effort and we are very relieved to know that no more animals will needlessly suffer here," SPCA Westchester said.

The birds and rabbits rescued were taken to a local farm.

The owner was issued a court summons and they will no longer be allowed to operate in Westchester County.

"They've been here for a pretty long time, sad they are gonna be closing," said customer Julianna Ruiz.

However, this isn't the first time they've been in trouble -- two years ago, they lost their license to sell cats and dogs.

A woman who did not want to be identified, says she just gave the owner a $500 deposit for a puppy, and he sent her a picture. Then, the woman says when she was supposed to pick it up he told her the puppy died.

She came by to find the shop closed, and called the owner.

"Ok, so when am I going to get my deposit from the puppy? You keep saying 'tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow,'" she said.

Channel 7 called the owner back and there was no response.

The owner received a court summons and will be in court next month.

The animals have all been taken to a local farm in Yonkers.

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